Healthy Mac & Cheese Recipe
When it comes to favourite comfort foods, mac and cheese is at the top of the list for many people!
If you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle and eat nutritious foods, you might think you have to avoid some of your favourite pasta dishes and sauces.
However, I don’t believe it is necessary to deprive ourselves of the foods we love. You can still enjoy them — one option is to make more nutritious versions of your favourite meals. Try this recipe for a healthy version of mac and cheese, it’s SO good!
Healthy Mac & Cheese Recipe
This mac and cheese recipe includes baby spinach and cauliflower, which adds some essential minerals to your plate. You’ll still enjoy the creamy taste of macaroni and cheese — with a serve of vegetables too!
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Dietary preferences: Vegetarian, Nut-free
- 150g spelt pasta, like macaroni or spirals (or wholemeal pasta)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ small brown onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- pinch of dried chilli flakes
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 150g cauliflower, cut into florets
- 125ml salt-reduced vegetable stock
- 100ml reduced-fat milk
- 60g parmesan cheese, grated
- 120g reduced-fat cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 handful of baby spinach leaves.
1. Fill a large saucepan with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (see the pasta packet for the recommended cooking time).
2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
3. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, thyme and chilli flakes and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4. Place the cauliflower in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 5-7 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well and set aside.
5. Transfer the cauliflower to a high-powered blender or food processor (or use a stick blender). Add the vegetable stock and milk and blend until smooth. Return the pureed cauliflower to the saucepan.
6. Heat the cauliflower puree over medium-low heat and stir through the parmesan cheese and half of the cheddar cheese. Simmer until the cheese has melted, stirring frequently. If the sauce is a little thin, mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon of water to form a paste. Stir the paste through the cauliflower cheese sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, stirring constantly.
7. Gently stir the pasta, onion mixture and spinach through the cheese sauce and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top of the mac and cheese.
8. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is hot and the cheese is golden.
9. To serve, divide over two serving bowls. Enjoy!
Give this mac and cheese recipe a try!
This mac and cheese recipe has been created to be healthy — but it’s also a simple recipe that doesn’t take long to make.
Having quick, nutritious meals you can cook on days when you’re short on time can also make it easier to stick with your health and fitness goals.
Are there any other comfort foods you would like to see get a healthy recipe makeover? Let me know in the comments!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.